• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Busted: five pernicious myths about dating an Italian
Forget these stale old stereotypes about dating an Italian. Photo: Alex De Carvalho

Busted: five pernicious myths about dating an Italian

The Local · 10 Feb 2016, 15:28

Published: 10 Feb 2016 15:28 GMT+01:00

Dating Italians is a great window on a wonderful culture and can really help you get a handle on life in Italy if you're living here.

But there are some pretty stubborn 'what to expect when dating an Italian' myths that have been perpetuated across the blogosphere, which don't always ring true. Here are five of the most common ones, busted.

Italians are good cooks


Photo: Wei Duan Woo

This tired old cliché is simply boring. Yes, Italian food is fantastic but it's more to do with the huge spectrum of fresh, artisanal produce that is still widely available rather than the inherent skill of Italians as chefs.

As in most countries, Italy's best cooks tend to be older women who learned how to make delicious meals on a tight budget while raising a family. Not the kind of people who generally play the dating game.

Not that it matters of course. Practically all Italians can rustle up a couple of simple and delicious dishes like spaghetti olio, aglio e peperoncino, or alla carbonara, which when washed down with a nice bottle of Nebbiolo makes for an almost perfect date!

The men are cheating mamma's boys whose first passion is football


Photo: Perugiacity

This is just offensive. Firstly, the cheating thing doesn't appear to be true at all. Men from all over the world cheat – in fact, studies have shown that British men are more likely to cheat than Italian men. Perhaps Italians are just more likely to be open about the level of commitment they're looking for.

The mum thing comes up a lot – but it's not like Italian men actively invite their mums to interfere with their lives – it just tends to happen in Italy where, for socio-economic reasons outlined here, young Italians often stay at home until their 30s.

When many of them do move out, they still live close enough for a visit from the dreaded mamma.

See More: 'Five reasons to date an Italian (and five not to)'

The football thing is nonsense too. Italian men that do support football are generally passionate, colourful and vocal fans – which has perhaps led to the misconception that the nation is 'football mad' but Italian men follow football less than many other nationalities.

A 2012 study showed that just 42 percent of all Italians watch football at all, with 10.3 percent declaring only a mild interest. Compared with the estimated 67 percent of Americans who watch the NFL, the description of Italians as "football mad" seems a little out of place...

The women have fiery tempers


Photo: David Gilligan

Perhaps you think an argument with an Italian girlfriend will finish with you ducking out of the way as she hurls various items of crockery at you from across the living room?

It won't.

Italians have a reputation for temper because they often shout, gesticulate and aren't afraid to disagree with you.

Most of the time it's not a furious argument but a good-natured discussion, during which no plates are thrown and nobody gets upset.

Their mum will do your laundry


Photo: Katri Niemi

Story continues below…

Perhaps you're thinking that a possible perk of dating an Italian is that their mum will do your laundry?

It's always a possibility if you're lucky...but certainly not guaranteed.

Firstly, it depends if you and your partner are officially an item or 'fidanzati', which means you're pretty much 'engaged'. Even then, it really depends on how much their mum likes you. If they're still working and have lots of other things to do, it's unlikely they are going to volunteer to wash your delicates, isn't it?

You will definitely learn Italian


Photo: Alessandro Prada

Conventional wisdom holds this to be true but alas, loving someone who speaks a different language has absolutely zero impact on your ability to learn it. It all depends on the dynamic of the relationship.

If you and your partner already have a language in common it's much less likely you will end up fluent in Italian over the course of the relationship.

Sure, you might get lots of input and opportunities for practice – but without constant correction it's very difficult to improve. Your boyfriend or girlfriend will either over-correct you and destroy your self belief or 'go soft' on you – allowing you to let the subjunctive slide and get inventive with gender.
 

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Conte theatrics a boon for Italy, and Chelsea fans
Antonio Conte during the Italy-Spain game on Monday. Photo: Philppe Lopez/AFP

A "great" Italian feat toppled Spain at Euro 2016, but Antonio Conte's touchline theatrics were just as dramatic for Italy and Chelsea fans during an emphatic 2-0 win over the defending champions.

Five essential Bud Spencer films to watch this weekend
Italian actor, Bud Spencer, passed away on Monday. Photo: Screenshot/YouTube

If you're looking to remember - or even discover - the delights of the late Bud Spencer's work, here are five films you should definitely watch.

Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
Gubbio (L) and Norcia (R). Photos: Angus Kirk/EricHuybrechts

Rome has a lot to offer, but if you're looking for variety or simply want a break away from the city, there's a treasure trove of towns within easy reach.

Euro 2016
Germany boss to banish Italy 'curse' in quarter-final clash
Germany coach Joachim Loew says Germany do not have an Italian 'curse'. Photo: Patrik Stollarz/AFP

Germany have lost their last eight matches to Italy at the knockout stages of major tournaments.

Bangladesh official charged over Italian's murder
Tavella's body leaves Bangladesh. Photo: Munir Az Zaman/AFP

The Italian aid worker was shot last September.

Brexit
Italy, Germany and France vow 'new impulse' for EU
In a joint statement, Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel and Matteo Renzi have promised to reorder the EU. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP

"There is a great need to remodel the European project in the coming years."

Naples mobsters bring home dough from bread sales
Photo: Rick Gordon

From supermarkets to street vendors, all bread suppliers in the northern neighbourhoods of Naples have been forced to buy their products from bakeries controlled by the Camorra mafia - or else face the consequences.

Spaghetti western film star Bud Spencer dies
The late Bud Spencer in Cannes in 1985. Photo: Dominque Faget Ralph Gatti/AFP

Italian actor Bud Spencer, who starred in a string of spaghetti westerns, died on Monday in Rome aged 86, his family confirmed.

Euro 2016
Italy dump Spain out of Euro 2016 with 2-0 win
Graziano Pelle scored the second goal. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle scored the goals as Italy exacted revenge for their Euro 2012 final hammering by dumping Spain out of Euro 2016 with a deserved 2-0 last 16 win in Paris on Monday.

British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
Photos: AFP

British business owners in Italy are rightly feeling jittery over Brexit.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Culture
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
National
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Health
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Travel
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
National
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Politics
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Travel
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Politics
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
National
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Culture
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
2,531
jobs available